Locals Only: Old Rules

Taking influences from bands such as Nirvana, Alice In Chains, Taking Back Sunday, Jimmy Eat World, and American Football, Ottawa locals Old Rules have crafted a unique sound that stands on the borders of pop punk, emo, and grunge. The five piece comprised of Nat Plamondon, Cody Coughlan, Holden Egan, JJ De Castro, and Nick Marson have been around for sometime and with the release of their most recent EP “Twitch” Old Rules has solidified their place as a key band in Ottawa’s music scene.

Although the EP may seem a little light, being comprised of only two songs, I prefer to look at the EP as refined. The two songs Starved and Zero/Four perfectly showcase Old Rules’ ability to blend multiple post punk genres while adding their own unique sound to the mix. The EP hits a somber note, but manages to keep an energetic pace. The lyrics are reflective and relatable, while the instrumentation remains fast paced and melodic.

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The second track on the EP entitled Starved is by far my favorite song on the EP. The songs infectious melody, and melancholy lyrics drive the song as the energetic pace eventually slows to a more somber and reflective note. The inclusion of guest vocals from Brad Garcia (lead singer of Safe to Say) gives amazing contrast to Coughlan’s voice and brings some variation to the already amazing song. Perhaps the best part of Starved is the infectious chorus “Lost in space/ Helpless and afraid/ You’ll float away like feathers/ You’ve lost your way” the words resonate beautifully and immediately get stuck in the listeners head.

This amazing Ottawa based band has managed to breathe new life into a somewhat stagnant genre. Their blending of grunge with multiple styles of music sets this band truly apart from the standard pop punk/emo fair. Old Rule’s true strength however, lies in the bands connection to their lyrics that work in perfect tandem with their infectious melodies. If you ever needed proof that grunge was alive look no further than Old Rules. Have a listen to Twitch below and be sure to check these guys out on Facebook to find out when they’ll be playing next.

Twitch by Old Rules



Justin Lam

Is a student at Carleton University studying English, with a concentration in creative writing. With a passion for music, Justin Lam has been playing in bands for years and is quite involved with the local Ottawa music scene. His goal has always been to introduce people to amazing artists and to spread the local talent of any city.